A 2008 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said, “At any given time there are more than 10 million people imprisoned worldwide.” Since some prisoners are being released while new ones are being sentenced every day, there are more than 30 million total prisoners worldwide each year. Statistics like these have caused many people to work for prison reform and a reexamination of sentencing laws.
From a spiritual perspective, the Bible offers an even more staggering statistic: “The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Gal. 3:22 niv). In what is sometimes considered a difficult passage to understand, Paul says that although the Old Testament law could not impart life (v.21), it was an effective teacher in showing us that we need a Savior who can give life (v.24). The bad news is that “the Scripture has confined all under sin,” and the good news is “that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (v.22).
When we give our lives to Christ, who has fulfilled the requirements of the law, we are no longer imprisoned by sin. Instead, we enter a fellowship of people from every nationality and social status.
In Christ, we are free indeed!